Would You Use and/or Contribute to a Game Database?

FS-UAE Launcher Database

FS-UAE Launcher currently supports using a game database to automatically find games you have by scanning your directories for known disk images and/or WHDLoad games, but it is currently a bit difficult for people to contribute to this database -this needs to be much easier!

You should vote here if you would like to see this feature developed further -or if you think this is a waste of time!

Current features include:

  • Scan a list of directories and look for known files
  •  Found games are automatically added to the game list in the launcher.
  • Show cover, title and screenshots for known games.
  • Floppy-based games in ADF and IPF format are supported
  • Files are identified and found by checksum, not name, so you organize your files as you see fit, and don’t need to constantly rename files according to DAT files or similar.
  • WHDLoad games are supported -WHDLoad games can be zipped or unzipped, the launcher can find the individual files on disk (or in archives) and re-assemble the WHDLoad game on launch.
  • Files inside zip archives are also indexes, and are temporarily extracted on demand.

Thousands of game entries have been automatically created by an algorithm looking at (among other sources) the TOSEC dat files to get a starting point. But of course, not all these configurations work out of the box. Special configuration may be needed. So to get a quality database, humans must test and improve the entries.

I propose a system where the launcher automatically synchronizes game entries from a central server, and where anyone can make modifications to game entries in the FS-UAE Launcher GUI, register an account on the server, and have FS-UAE Launcher submit the fixes to the central server so everyone will benefit from the improvements. This includes specifying custom configuration (if needed) and submitting images.

  • The central server will keep history for all changes, so changes can be easily reverted.
  • The list of changes will be used to download incremental updates to the database.
  • It will be possible to have local overrides for specific configuration values and/or images.
  • Images can be downloaded on demand (and cached), so the launcher does not need to download a huge data set to get started.
  • This is mainly a configuration database, and it is not intenteded to compete with Hall Of Light or Lemon Amiga for collecting detailed metadata. A minimal set of metadata (year, publisher, etc) is of course relevant, but for extended information, links til HOL/LemonAmiga will be associated with entries.

The database includes many variations of the same games (for instance multiple cracked versions from the TOSEC set). I propose some kind of voting/rating/like system, so only the most popular variants are showed in the launcher by default if you have many variants available (configurable by the user, of course).

The license for the database should be a quite liberal license (a Creative Commons variant?) to allow other projects to use the information as well. It does not make sense (IMO) to build such a database and then try to limit the usability.

It only makes sense to build infrastructure for this if people are interested in contributing.

You should vote if you would like to see this feature developed (and also perhaps subscribe to the thread if you want to follow the discussion)

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